As I prepared to leave the clinical trial, I figured It may take me a while to get caught up on things on the home front, SO,, I have set the dates for publishing the next few “FINDS” that I thought were insightful, interesting or educational. I felt I should explain that I do not spend ALL my time researching. 🙂
FROM ‘Parkinson’s News Today”
“, people don’t usually pick up on my symptoms in everyday circumstances. I’m an advocate for exercise as medicine. I work out regularly and feel that it has helped me to delay progression of my disease.”
“So, what should I do if I find myself in the awkward scenario of running into someone who hasn’t seen me recently? Should I quickly duck down the dog food aisle (although let’s face it, nothing is quick anymore), or endure the next few uncomfortable minutes?”
“Inevitably, the ducking idea fails, and the obligatory conversation begins. How it plays out produces mixed reactions, but primarily a bewildered look of “What?”
It goes something like this:
Unfortunate person who ran into the woman with Parkinson’s: “So, how are you feeling?”
Me: (on the inside: “A rhetorical question, right? You don’t want a truthful answer.”) Aloud, I say, “I’m doing well, thank you for asking.”
Unfortunate person: “Well, you look great.”
At this point, 26 years (or in my case 51 years) of wedded bliss to my husband and having raised three sons (or in my case ten children) who all embrace sarcasm begin to show. I save the following witty response for those who know me well enough not to be offended.
Me: (grinning) “Well, I did not get the memo that a Parkinson’s diagnosis meant that I was supposed to look bad, so thank you.”
Then comes the “What?” look, swiftly followed by a laugh, and the elephant in the room isn’t so big anymore.
We managed to find humor in the chat, which lightened the mood. Everyone felt better. After all, I could have answered, “My meds are wearing off, my symptoms are in high gear, and I feel horrible.” That would not be very nice, so I stuck to the lighter side of things.
“The bottom line is that we cannot duck down an aisle or cross the street to avoid conversations just because people don’t know what to say to us. It is not due to a lack of concern on their part, but rather a dearth of knowledge.”
“Find opportunities to educate and inform others about Parkinson’s. If you can manage to do that with a little bit of humor, that’s a bonus for everyone.”
*** Since preparing this post, I saw an excellent follow up article …What NOT to say. I’m going to schedule it for today, also… 🙂